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Ireland's Leo Varadkar takes office as new prime minister

Ireland's Leo Varadkar takes office as new prime minister

Leo Varadkar took office Wednesday as Ireland's prime minister, also known as the taoiseach.

The son of an Irish mother and an Indian immigrant father, he is the first openly gay politician to serve in the post.

“I've been elected to lead, but I promise to serve,” the 38-year-old Dublin native said.

Varadkar, a doctor who has held three previous Cabinet posts, defeated rival Simon Coveney in a contest to replace Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who resigned.

Varadkar was backed by most lawmakers and local representatives, giving him victory under the center-right Fine Gael party's electoral college system.

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